Claremont by Wiebke von Carolsfeld

One of the welcome surprises I get from time to time is reading a work of fiction set in a location near where I used to live. Claremont by Wiebke von Carolsfeld (2019, Linda Leith Publishing) is set not only in Toronto but in the Trinity-Bellwoods neighbourhood where I lived for about a year back in the late 1980s. We rented a house on Massey Street (technically in neighbouring West Queen), just a stone’s throw (OK, a 9-minute walk!) to 46 Claremont St.… Continue reading

Daughters of Silence by Rebecca Fisseha

Rebecca Fisseha’s debut novel Daughters of Silence was recently featured on CBC Books’ 34 Works of Canadian Fiction to Watch for this Fall, which is no small feat, particularly for a first novel. (Incidentally, her publisher, New Brunswick’s Goose Lane Editions has two entries on this list, the other being Different Beasts by J.R. McConvey. Not a few of the books on the list are from independent, small press publishers.… Continue reading

Sea Trial: Sailing After My Father by Brian Harvey

I consider myself an armchair sailor. I have been on a small sailboat (once, on Lake Ontario) but I enjoy reading about the travels of others, whether fiction or fact, small craft or large, alone or with a crew. So it was with great eagerness that approached Sea Trial: Sailing After My Father by Brian Harvey (2019, ECW Press). The cover alone was enough to entice me: a watercolour print on textured paper that suited the subject matter perfectly.… Continue reading

Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta (Guest Post)

Note: For the past three summers, Naomi of the Consumed by Ink book review blog and I have been swapping a book review. This year I reviewed The Afrikaner by Arianna Dagnino for her site, and she has written a review of the critically-acclaimed book by Jamaican-Canadian author Zalika Reid-Benta, Frying Plantain (2019, House of Anansi Press)*. Naomi writes from Truro, Nova Scotia and reviews a broader range of CanLit than I do, although we sometimes review the same book, which is always interesting!… Continue reading

Operation Vanished by Helen C. Escott

Helen C. Escott’s Operation Vanished follows closely on the heels of her bestselling Atlantic Canadian thriller Operation Wormwood (2018, Flanker Press). While that book dealt with an investigation by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, Operation Vanished has the RCMP investigating some unsolved abductions and murders of women back in the 1950s. Heading up the investigative team is RCMP Corporal Gail McNaughton, whose own father is a retired career Mountie.… Continue reading